No one can sell you or your services better than – you. The next best sales person for you is someone that has used your service or product, like a satisfied former or current client. Just how impactful a word of mouth (WOM) recommendation is shouldn’t be underestimated, even in today’s social media communication environment.

People have an extremely high trust factor with personal recommendations, according to Nielsen surveys.

“According to the report, which surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising – an increase of 18 percent since 2007. Online consumer reviews rank as the second most trusted source, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.”

What does this mean to you? What actions are you going to take to get word of mouth endorsements for your business? It’s your responsibility to develop a referral system. The challenge is – how much time can you devote to establishing and maintaining a process, especially when you’re a one-person operation? I suggest you beg, borrow, or steal the time– it’s that important.

A number one priority is building a network of people who endorse your performance. As important is “keeping you” foremost in the minds of those who can provide a personal referral. One easy way to stay relevant is to develop a monthly or quarterly electronic newsletter. A periodic communication tool, a newsletter allows you to provide value to subscribers (new, former, and hope to be clients) while avoiding the “out of sight out of mind” syndrome. Make you the first person others think of in your area of expertise.

Finally, stay in touch with your contacts and learn about their business needs. When possible your advocates deserve a reciprocating referral! The streets of life are two way streets……..give more than you take!